Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 22: A Change in Projects

This entry is part 22 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

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Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 22: A Change in Projects

Kevin cleaned off the dusty and dirty robot. How long had it sat on the shelf in the garage? At least two years, now that he thought about it.

Finding his project was one thing. Figuring out how the thing worked, what was wrong, and how to fix it was something else.

The game design information displayed across multiple screens and wall-mounted e-picture frames on the wall behind the desk in his room came down. He would get back to Project Z later. After all, the programming he would learn would help him there, too.

Up went manufacturing information and owner’s manual for the robot’s specific model. He started the project by taking the robot apart while matching up each part with the information he’d gathered. Visually inspecting each piece to see if it looked like the images showed it should.

The nightmares continued. Each time he woke up from them, he didn’t try to go back to sleep. Instead, he worked on the robot until too tired to keep his eyes open, and only then went back to bed.

During the day he spent as much time as he could on the project. Not easy. Not with a house full of people determined to take his time. Not that he could focus on anything else for very long any time someone managed to drag him out of his room. His mind continued to go over what he was learning, just waiting to get back to his desk to check something else to see if he’d figured out the problem.

He did figure out one thing. The robot had a bad battery unit. He found that out only after using some of the tools from his mother’s workbench.

A simple fix. He grabbed one from one of the other robots on the shelf in the garage. Most of the small ones were interchangeable, from what he’d read. So, it didn’t matter much that it was from a different model.

“Hey, we need another for a team,” Greg said, stopping at his bedroom door as Kevin cleaned the battery unit before installing. His white t-shirt was already grass-stained, showing he’d been outside not that long ago in another game.

Christy appeared out of nowhere, dressed in a purple dress. “Nope. He’s visiting the fairies with me. I hear they are lurking in the back yard somewhere.”

If he had the robot up and operating, Kevin might go with her. Then he could be outside to watch his fixed bot working with the lone yard-bot now doing double-duty in both the front and back yard. But the robot did not work, and he was too anxious to see if this was the only problem.

“Sorry, not going outside. Trying to figure this out,” Kevin said, continuing to prepare the battery.

Greg put his hands on his hips. “Mom said you weren’t supposed to stay inside playing games all day.”

“I’m not playing games. I’m trying to fix something.” Couldn’t they see what was right in front of them? Would he get in trouble for breathing wrong now? Would someone yell if his fingers flexed as if using a game controller?

“But, the fairies!” Christy said.

“No, the game,” Greg said.

“Fixing!” Kevin said.

Greg shook his head as he turned away. “You are no fun.”

“Am, too! Just busy,” Kevin shouted after him.

“Maybe later?” Christy asked, straightening her dress.

“Yes, later. Take Boo with you. I’m sure she can help you find the fairies,” Kevin said.

“Oh, great idea.” Christy dashed off.

Kevin sighed. He checked the leads of the battery unit with what he saw online. They looked good. No corrosion. No discoloration.

“Hey, we have a game going outside,” Sean said from the door.

He really should have shut the door while he had the chance. “Sorry, trying to fix something.”

Getting rid of Sean didn’t do much good. Not with Nanny-Bot coming in to check on him. Then the house-bot came through with the vacuum to work on all the floors.

Kevin sighed, setting the battery supply in front of the robot. If this continued, he would never get this done. The only one who hadn’t come in was his mother.

His previous noes didn’t mean anything. His brothers returned, trying to talk him into coming outside again because of the odd numbers on the teams. Christy appeared, announcing she’d found the fairies and he needed to come out and see.

It was too easy for them to find him in his room, he decided. He needed to do something about it, and fast. That was, if he ever hoped to get the robot going that summer. Or that year.

After Christy ran outside to see if she could discover any other creatures lurking in the yard, he also went down. But not to go outside.

No, instead he went to scout out somewhere he would be left alone.

He quickly decided against the garage. Everyone went in and out of there all the time. Which meant he couldn’t use his father’s nice workbench.

He already knew that his mother’s workshop was out. She did too much in there, as it was her home office. No room for him, even if he didn’t take up much space.

That left only one other option that he could think of.

He headed down to the basement. A place full of all sorts of stored items, including old clothes and furniture. Nice high ceilings, but not all that great in the way of light.

But, plenty of corners he could hide out in and get something done. The idea thrilled him at the very thought.

Time to make himself his own robotic repair corner!

TO BE CONTINUED…

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Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

Series Navigation<< Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 21: A FocusSummer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 23: A Good Excuse >>

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  1. […] Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 22: A Change in Projects by J.A. Marlow ~ @jamarlow_sf ~ Between 500 and 1000 words ~ Science Fiction ~ Serial […]

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